Is Israel paying too much for hope of recognition by Arab world?
Baku, Azerbaijan, December 17
By Azer Ahmadbayli – Trend:
Following a series of recent terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem, which resulted in the deaths of servicemen and civilians, Israel has once again become embittered from within.
We remember the disagreements arisen among the Israeli leadership after the November rocket attacks on the South of Israel from Gaza, on how to proceed, and as a result of which Defense Minister Lieberman resigned.
Anyway, despite the high viability of all structures of state power, those events were a strong emotional shake-up for the entire Israeli society: people discussed them ardently, split into supporters and opponents of a particular opinion, and even there were comments that citizens in the north were not able to understand the southerners who live in permanent tension because of recurrent threats from Gaza.
Nobody put the Israeli unity under doubt at that time, but some negative background was there.
And this time again, in a few hours after the latest terrorists attack (in Givat Assaf) the atmosphere heated up quickly.
On Thursday in Jerusalem, near the Prime Minister’s residence, several thousand people took the streets, requiring tough response to violence.
Israeli media reported Dec. 14 that there were clashes in Ramallah between local residents and Israeli soldiers searching for terrorists involved in the latest attacks.
Also, in some areas, mass fighting erupted between young Jews and Arabs. The Israelis were throwing stones at vehicles with Palestinian license plates, damaging many cars.
The National Union party presented an ultimatum to Prime Minister Netanyahu saying that chairman Uri Ariel and MK Bezalel Smotrich would stop voting with the ruling coalition until the Prime Minister urgently meets several security demands. Withdrawal of the National Union from the coalition will deprive the latter of the parliamentary majority, Israeli media outlets said.
On Friday, near Beit El, another stabbing attack was committed against an Israeli serviceman.
In fact, the recent terrorist attacks pursued the same goal – to cause anger in society and disagreements in the government of Israel and to strengthen the contradictions between the supporters of the moderate and hard liners, to create an unstable environment in which a hasty decision can be made, and which can once again somehow discredit the state of Israel.
After the occasionally voiced mutual accusations of betrayal of the interests of Palestinian unity, both of the major rival Palestinian movements were finally unanimous in the assessment of the attacks expressing their full satisfaction, regional media said.
Hamas: “A new page is opening in the fight against occupation through fire and blood.”
Fatah: “Shaheeds (martyrs), who shed blood for their native land, are heroes. With their blood they draw a map of our homeland.”
In all this chaos, however, there is a certain order, or rather, a consistent line to aggravate the situation in Israel at the right time. Let's not forget the events of November.
Then, after the shelling of Israeli territory and the demand of Defense Minister Lieberman to immediately commence a ground operation to clean up Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu at a closed meeting of the Cabinet said that he would not sanction such an operation as there are some circumstances he cannot disclose, but soon important political steps will be taken in the region and therefore now is not the time to play hardball.
We can only guess what steps the Israeli Prime Minister was talking about, but it is clear that to reach his goal he needed complete political stability in the country, which was blown up by the recent terrorist attacks.
Assessing all the recent precedents – the rapprochement with Saudi Arabia and some other Gulf states, granting permission by Oman to use its air space for Israeli aircraft, the recent visit of the President of Chad (a major Muslim country), the comments of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and the Emir of Bahrain about the establishment of closer ties with the Jewish state, and a number of other signs – it can be assumed that the "important steps" referred to by the Israeli Prime Minister lie in the plane of recognition of the state of Israel by some Arab nations with the further establishment of diplomatic relations.
This, in turn, would radically change the architecture of the Arab-Israeli decades-lasting enmity relations and, in particular, the fate of the Palestinian question.
It’s clear that neither Fatah nor Hamas want to allow this course of events to happen.